In all honesty, it’s pretty much impossible to determine exactly what your business should be doing for content marketing success without some sort of brand assessment. Every strategy differs depending on the company’s core competencies and goals, which is why I recommend a consultation and personalized proposal for clients just starting out.
But you may not have the time or funds to take these steps right now. Sometimes, all you need is a quick go-to guide of tips and recommendations to get your content marketing plan going. While these may not target your exact needs, here are some suggestions that can help get your business to where it needs to be:
Blog Length: I would recommend keeping third-party industry blogs at about 500 to 600 words. The average person’s attention span is dwindling by the day, and schedules are becoming even more hectic; you want to accommodate these things while also delivering custom, original content that strikes a perfect balance between concise, captivating and informative. For ghostwritten or thought leadership blogs, I’d say anywhere between 800-1300 words is just fine (after all, these pieces are meant to be richer with detail, personal stories and valuable takeaways).
Blog Tone: In my experience, I’ve found that those companies that write in a conversational yet professional tone have the best engagement and share rates. You do not want your blog tone to be too formal or stiff. If you’re not sure how formal your tone is, err on the side of light and conversational. And always blog about topics that are relevant and meaningful to your customers. Consider this quote from NextView VP Jay Acunzo, “Actually talk to your customers. Use the language that they use. Talk about the things they talk about. Never feed salad to a lion.”
Platforms to use: I always recommend targeting LinkedIn and Twitter. On LinkedIn, be sure to publish posts and share updates of your blog content (you can check out more on how to optimize LinkedIn here). Check out tips for optimizing your Twitter presence here.
Always try to include photos with every piece of content whether it’s a blog, a social post or a long-form asset like a white paper or case study. Research shows, for example, that…
- Colored visuals increase a person’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80 percent.
- When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10 percent of that information three days later. If a relevant image is paired with that same information, however, people are likely to remember 65 percent of the information three days later.
- Content with relevant images gets 94 percent more views than content without relevant images.
The psychological effects of stimulating visuals are undeniable. It’s no wonder 46 percent of marketers say photography is critical to their marketing and storytelling strategies.
Here are some free photo resources you can use:
Quick fixes don’t tend to get businesses far but, if you need some quick tips to hold you over, these should do the trick. When you’re ready to take things to the next level, make sure you find an experienced content marketer who can help support your content marketing strategy on an ongoing basis for long-term success.